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Bellator News Weekly: Welterweight Grand Prix-view

Monica and Mercedes have enjoyed the vacation.     PicProps:

In all this talk of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix and subsequent rumors of a Lightweight Grand Prix, it seems that some of us are forgetting about the promotion that put on *seven* tournaments last year, without once sucking their own dicks about how awesome they were to pull it off. Well, Bjorn Rebney and company are returning to the airwaves new and improved on March 5th with a new slate of tournaments, and CagePotato wants to keep you abreast of developments.  Because we care, Potato Nation, because we care.

Probably the deepest and most talented division in Bellator, eight fighters are entered in the third tournament at 170 pounds. The field is already set, and packed with stars and standouts competing for a large check (see what we did there?) and a date with current welterweight kingpin “Funky” Ben Askren. A full list of the competitors and some highlight vids are after the jump, so now you can discuss the tournament intelligently, should it come up on the golf course or at the dinner table.  You’re welcome.

Fighting out of Cleveland, Ohio, Chris “The Assassin*” Lozano got a qualifier match last season on the strength of a 6-0 record, including a win over UFC alumnus Jason Dent. Lozano made a statement at Bellator XXXI, where he beat the piss out of poor old Yoshiyuki Yoshida. Lozano is a sprawl and brawl guy at heart, works a good pace, and is willing to pull the trigger on unorthodox strikes. Look for him to throw heavy fists with designs on an early night.

Brent “Headshop**” Weedman is another regional fighter making the jump to the national scene, but he’s thoroughly paid his dues to get there. At 17-5, Weedman is riding a nine fight win streak, which he began with an upset win over Douglas Lima for the AFL’s welterweight title. He went 3-0 for Bellator in 2010, winning all three by first-round stoppage. Weedman uses an aggressive Muay Thai style with heavy hands and knees, which usually goes over well with the crowd.

Returning for a second run at the welterweight field is "Bionic**" Steve Carl, who currently sits at 11-2, with losses to Brian Foster and last year’s semifinal loss to Dan Hornbuckle. Carl, who is guaranteed to be introduced with mentions of his military background (US Army Sergeant) and his horrific car crash (horrific), has demonstrated that he will choke a bitch if he has to, to the point of unconciousness if necessary. Case in point: he qualified for the tournament this season with this tech submission over brodog Tyler Stinson:

“Judo” Jim Wallhead took the long way to the Bellator tournament this year. Originally scheduled to compete in Season Two at 170, the Team Roughhouse member was grounded in the UK when that Icelandic volcano erupted. Wallhead was replaced in the tournament by Ryan Thomas, then watched as Thomas lost (again) to Ben Askren in his stead. Wallhead debuted at Bellator XXXII, where he defeated his stand-in Thomas in an entertaining three-round scrap and earned a slot in the 2011 welterweight bracket. Look for Wallhead to use his judo defensively, keeping the fight where he likes it–standing.

Rick "The Spawn of Kahn**" Hawn made his Bellator debut last year, where he scored his seventh victory by TKO or knockout in just nine fights. While Hawn entered MMA relatively late at 32, he brought a lifetime of judo knowledge and competitive experience with him. And by “competitive experience”, we mean dude went to the Olympics. Hawn is 9-0 since his debut in January of ‘09, and he’ll be a challenge for anyone he faces. Expect Hawn to use his world-class clinch work to stay inside, where he excels with punches and elbows. If his opponents come off balance, he will throw them without hesitation.

Dan “The Handler” Hornbuckle is possibly, at 22-3, the most experienced, winningest fighter to never hit the UFC. One of those 3 was his loss in the finals to current welterweight champion Ben Askren, a loss he looks to avenge as soon as possible. First, of course, he’ll have to make his way through a gauntlet of challengers. When I asked Hornbuckle if he knew who he was matched up with for the quarterfinals, he laughed and said he’d rather find out where he’s fighting, so his fans know where to show up. “Matchup? Why would Bellator want to tell us that? I’m ready for anybody in the tourney.” Look for “The Handler” to cruise into the semis with a quick submission.


“The Thoroughbred” Jay Hieron was perhaps the biggest free-agent signing last year by Bellator. After a frustrating two fight deal with Strikeforce that Hieron expected would yield a title shot with Nick Diaz, Hieron was wooed to Bellator by the promise of regular, frequent fights and a direct path to a championship. Currently 19-4, Hieron rides a six fight win streak into the first round of the tournament. Hieron has confirmed that he will appear on the first Bellator fight card of 2011 on March 5th, and is expected to face Steve Carl.

Lastly, Lyman “Cyborg” Good is the only fighter to be coming off a loss into the Season 4 tournament, after he lost his title last season to wrestling freak/disc golf enthusiast Ben “Fro’do**” Askren. Once king of Bellator’s 170 division, Good will have to climb the mountain again, against much stiffer competition. Can he make it back to a title shot versus the man who gave him his first loss?

*Unfortunately, this is his actual ring name.

**Unfortunately, this is *not* his actual ring name.


Cagepotato Comments

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k-onda- February 1, 2011 at 4:34 am
What's a Bellator?
ZiggysDick- January 31, 2011 at 9:17 pm
Great article, breaking down the tournament. This honestly makes Bellator more accessible to me.
donfryesmustache- January 31, 2011 at 10:32 am
@ mydonkeypunch, I literaly just spittled all over my computer from laughing at that, you fucker
cecils_pupils- January 31, 2011 at 9:56 am
Sweet... needs me some Bellator action soon.
LOKI- January 31, 2011 at 9:46 am
Um...wait a minute, this thread isnt about titties?!
MyDonkeyPunch- January 31, 2011 at 7:34 am
**A Late Entry to the Card**

And in a handicap match... I'll be taking on the two hags at the top. Don't worry... no matter how rough things might get, I won't pull out! I'm in it to win it!
kellyman- January 31, 2011 at 6:56 am
Ben Askren VS Jonathan Goulet for the superfight! Make it happen, Rebney.
ReX13- January 31, 2011 at 6:31 am
Dangada >>  Unfortunately, Askren won't put his title up until Season 5.  Still waiting to hear who he faces for his superfight this season, but he'll probably manhandle whoever it is.
DangadaDang- January 31, 2011 at 6:10 am
Yeah this season is gunna be the best yet, as long as Askren loses in the finals.
ReX13- January 31, 2011 at 5:47 am
fbf >>  you know it, brother. i'll be keeping everyone up on BFC news, starting today.
fatbellyfrank- January 31, 2011 at 4:26 am
Alright, Bellators back, you doin the articles again Rex? lookin forward to ALL these match ups, IMO Bellator put on a fucken great show